Alexa Phone App is getting Geofencing - Another Mobile Presence Option for Hubitat?


#1

[UPDATE] The Geofencing seems use the battery excessively on the iOS platform. Just wanted to forewarn anyone else who tries this.

The folks at Amazon are very busy pushing out new features. This is yet another option for for creating a Presence sensor on Hubitat. Just trigger an Alexa Routine to turn On/Off a virtual Presence Device (which needs to also support the Switch Capability) and voila!

Here's my Virtual Presence with Switch Driver


#2

Cool! I'll be curious to see how they use location services in Android particularly, and how responsive it is in Pie vs something like Life360 with Driving Mode enabled.

It's probably good sign that they are calling out "a block away from home" as an example, you can't get that kind of accuracy when location only updates every few minutes.


#3

I was able to get this set up very easily for testing purposes. It is nice that you can also select an Echo device to play a custom phrase announcing the arrival and departure of a user.

What I haven't figured out yet is how to get this to work with multiple users. I am the only one in the house that uses the Alexa App on my phone. Does anyone have experience with using Alexa with multiple users? Does each user need an Amazon account?


#4

I have multiple users on my Alexa setup, ya. It's not a great experience in the house. She knows who's speaking but doesn't use their account. So if I go in to my wife's Echo and ask to set a reminder, she will set the reminder on who ever's account is currently active. You have to ask her to switch accounts. Really stupid in my opinion.

For geofencing however, it'll work with the separate accounts on each phone.


#5

Yes, but you can create accounts with no credit card.


#6

We are in the same boat as @doug

I have been wanting to set up “Recognized Voices” on the Alexa account in hopes that it would auto switch, if that is even how it works.

I think that is the only thing I don’t like about how all the Alexa enabled devices work in the house.


#7

Is this IOS only?
I don't see an option in Routines for GeoFencing


#9

Maybe this means the invites will start.

Introducing Echo Auto - The first Echo for your car Echo Auto - The first Echo for your car


#10

What are the distances for leaving and arriving?


#11

You can adjust the distance, however the smallest appears to be 492ft on iOS.


#12

iOS has ‘routines’ and ‘locations’, couldn’t find anything referencing ‘geofencing’ specifically.


#13

Inside the latest Alexa App (at least in the USA), create a new Routine. When you select "when this happens", choose "Arrive or leave" from the list of possible triggers.


#14

I am in the USA, but don't have location option in Alexa App on Android.


#15

Same here, no joy.


#16

How has your battery life been? I enabled this today and have disabled it for now. My battery (which was replaced a month ago) was almost dead about an hour after enabling this. Might be coincidence. Battery usage doesn't show it's using that much, but i'm not sure those numbers are that accurate initially.


#17

I agree. It seems Alexa is now the number 1 battery user on my iPhone 7. Perhaps not a great idea afterall??? :wink:


#18

An idea ahead if its time I think. They’ll resolve that problem soon enough. We just need to let them know it’s a problem. :slightly_smiling_face:


#20

I just got the Alexa app update that allows geofencing on my android phone.
I set it up using @ogiewon's VirtPresenceSwitch driver and I'll report back on how well it works later in the week.

I also disabled battery monitoring to maximize performance. Hopefully the battery doesn't suffer too much.


#21

I haven't seen any battery issues on my Pixel XL but I am having an issue with Alexa keeping the pinned location stored. It appears saved for a few minutes to hours, than disappears, and if I look at the routine it asks me to set the location. However, when that doesn't happen it has been working pretty well and consistantly marks my arrival and departure at the bottom of my driveway which, for me, is ideal.


#22

Been running it on my iphone 7+ since it was released. No significant battery drain.

Had issues setting up the address. If I entered a new address it wouldn't stay pinned for some reason. When I set up the "Home" location it stuck and works perfect. I get notified of arrival/departure by the end of my street.

I also created a small virtual presence/switch device driver. It allows me to toggle the presence from Alexa and act upon presence state in hubitat.

I currently use live360 for my geofencing but I'm always looking at ways to reduce apps on my phone. If this works reliably I'll end up replacing it as I have the alexa app already installed.